Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

We are paranoid parents. I didn't realize until we got the cats home how worried both of us had been that the visit to the vet would result in their complete trauma, and possibly news of some terminal illness causing the sneezing fits. Or that after one trip to the vet they'd never trust us again.

The only thing that seemed to bother them was being trapped in individual cardboard boxes, unable to see each other or what was going on around them. They're curious enough that they don't think to be particularly scared, they just want to check everything out. Including all the cupboards in the Vet's office. I solved the cardboard box problem by buying a carrier big enough for both of them (only just), so that on the way home they could be together and check out the world as well.

They got inspected, and had a giant worming pill each shoved down their throats, and were sent away with the verdict of a case of the sniffles that will clear up on it's own. We were given antibiotics to give them just in case, also to prevent secondary infections, we get to capture them twice a day and squirt orangey medicine down their throats with a needle-less syringe. Again, something that seems to traumatize them for all three seconds. I wish I had such powers of recovery.

Monday, October 20, 2003

Day five of cat-ownership. They've learned they don't need to wake me up to ask permission to jump onto the bed, so we all four sleep peacefully together. Maybe we need to upgrade to a king-sized, just so there's room for me, Matt and two cats.

We've figured out that Talli just pretends to be standoffish, all you need to do is pick him up and put him in someone's lap and he turns into an interactive teddy bear, complete with purr and the happy trample dance. We've also figured out that Marble is the bubble-head of the pair: she lives entirely in the moment, easily distracted by shiny things and her own tail. They both love milk (my morning cereal was eaten in a besieged state this morning), and butter, and one of them even decided they wanted to sample the Parmesan garlic bread I'd foolishly failed to put away immediately.

Other items of note are: Talli's developed a sniffle, he's been sneezing comic little squeak sneezes; Marble gave us a little present of a hairpellet the size of my little finger, and she may have *ahem* worms. So they're going to the vet tomorrow, I'm glad I've already signed up for a healthcare plan for them that covers vet visits, so I know exactly where to take them and don't have to pay just to be told what's wrong with them.

Parenting...It's a blast. I love having them around, the sniffles and hairballs are just minor hiccups. Pardon the pun.

Speaking of parenting, my parents will be in LA on Wednesday, then down here for the night on Friday. Before then I have to try to make more inroads into organizing our things for the move, with the side effect of the apartment looking tidier for their visit.

Friday, October 17, 2003

Later on Wednesday I got a call from a woman at the Friends Of County Animal Shelters (FOCAS) office, asking me when we were moving, and if I could give her the number for our current manager too, just to make sure it's all legitimate. Other than that we could collect the "little buggers" as soon as we were ready. She also said she'd knock the adoption fee down to $75 a cat so it was $150 total. Needless to say I was very excited, apart from having to sort out permission for them to be in our current apartment, that could have put the kibosh on the whole thing.

I couldn't give her the number right away, as it was saved in my cell phone, and we were speaking on my cell. This fortunately gave me time to call Matt, get him to ask Red if he'd say it was ok, even though the previous owner didn't allow pets and the current owner seems only concerned with getting all of the tenants out asap...Red said ok, so I called and gave FOCAS his info.

Much calling back and forth on Wednesday. I gave the FOCAS volunteer at Pet Smart the number for Red, then Deborah from the FOCAS office called me a while later only to realize the number was sitting on her desk already. THEN the afternoon volunteer at the Pet Smart called to ask if I'd given anyone the number for my current landlord. They may not share information too well, but they're certainly thorough about following up on adoption prospects.

By the time I left work I was hoping to be able to pick up our beasties on my way home, but I was also wondering if anyone had been able to get through to Red, and if so, had they told the people at the Pet Smart so that they'd give me the cats?

On the way there I got a call from Deborah, the woman in the main office, just to let me know everything was a-ok, she gave me her cell phone number in case the people at the store weren't sure if I'd been cleared or not.

Many forms to fill out, in duplicate (one for each cat), a great long string of coupons from Pet Smart to get started with kitty supplies, a 30 minute shopping spree involving much internal debate over brands of kitty litter, which food dish is cuter, and if they really need a climbing scratching post...and I was ready to claim my two meowing cardboard boxes. The cardboard boxes which contuinued to meow most pathetically all the way home. Especially when I turned a corner.

I called Matt when I was nearly home so he could hear the complaining for himself. With all the whining going on I fully expected both of them to bolt under the futon and stay there for a few hours as soon as we opened their boxes. As it turned out, both of them started for the shelter of the futon, but after a foot or so got distracted by checking out their new surroundings. Then they proceeded to wander about with their tails in the air examining everything. Especially Marble, she very soon was sidling on everything, which is a way of claming things as her own. Inside a couple of hours their body language changed from inquisitive and a little suspicious to inquisitive and feeling well at home. About 3 hours after we opened the boxes Talli had jumped up into Matt's lap and done the circular trample dance, complete with loud purr and face-nuzzling. It was like he was saying thanks for bringing us home, I like it here.

They're both enjoying having room to zoom about and chase each other in, and they both like coming into the bedroom at night to meow pathetically until invited onto the bed. They need to learn to just jump up without being asked, I don't want to have to wake up to give permission every time one of them feels like sleeping on me! Funny beasties.

Marble is still very kitteny, when I left for work this morning she was busy attacking the edge of the random spare square of carpet we have in our hallway, she wasn't having much luck in getting under the carpet, but she was giving it hell nontheless. I'd almost forgotten about cats' fascination with rugs and edges of almost anything.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

The ginger cats were huge and standoffish as it turns out. Not unfriendly, just not really caring if they're getting petted or not. They're the big living teddy-bear variety of cat, and the lack of curiousness was the main putoff for both Matt and myself. There was, however, another pair up for adoption who checked us out pretty well. A brother and sister pair, the boy cat kept giving Matt the eye, and the girl came by for attention in between her frequent naps. They're both friendly and playful, and seemed unfazed by being in a small room with strange people and a bunch of other cats. So we applied to adopt them. All they need is to get in touch with the manager for our new building and confirm that they allow pets. The one potential barrier is that it looks like the adoption fee may be $100 per cat, not $100 for the pair, which is what I was told on the phone. $200 is...just too much, even though they're very sweet.

It's odd that there isn't a slightly lower fee for adopting a bonded pair, they're harder to place. Fingers crossed we'll be able to bring home Scout and Radley soon, though they'll get new names if we end up adopting them!

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

I may be about to get myself in trouble. Not big serious trouble, more introducing mildly uneccesary turmoil to my life kind of trouble. Leaping with minimal looking. Leaping after extensive looking but not at the optimal time.

There is a pair of pale orange feline brothers at an adoption center in Point Loma and Matt and I are going to go meet them tonight. If we want them, we'll have to take them as soon as the adoption is processed, not in a month when we'll be moved in, they won't hold them for us, their spots are needed by other homeless cats.

I'm not sure if I want them to be adorable, and to make friends with them right away, or if I want them to be too big and a bit standoffish, and not so fabulous so we just decide to see who's up for adoption when we've already moved.

I guess it's up to the beasties, if they decide they like us we'll be powerless to resist.
I called and left a somewhat stilted message for the building manager, it's rather hard to figure out a polite and non-psycho-sounding way to say "please mister, can I have your kitten? He's awfully cute...", and I haven't heard back, not surprisingly. It was a long shot, but it didn't hurt to ask/offer. I'm now on the trail of a pair of ginger cats up for adoption through a San Diego animal shelter, but I suspect I'll be told they won't hold specific animals for the 3-4 weeks until we've moved, and that's also understandable, the rescues run on tight budgets. Holding two cats for me would mean two places that could be given to animals in need would remain filled for longer than necessary.

I think it's pretty apparent to all that I'm getting really into this cat-hunt thing. I haven't lived with pets for two years, and the three years before that it was only weekend visits and vacations with my parents and the two cats there. Now that I know I'm going to be able to have a cat (or maybe two), I want 'em immediately.

Of course, I'd also like to be already moved in, settled and organized in our new place. Without having to do the actual moving, settling and organizing myself. I want to locate a magic moving device that will also (as a convenient side-effect) transform myself and Matt into more organized and tidy people. We do ok, but we're both spoiled by having a great deal of floor space on which we can accumulate random heaps of papers and junk with no assigned home. This will not be the case in our new home. Heaps of junk also don't mix too well with cats, they find things to chew on (and choke on) and may even decide that pile of papers looks like a litter box one morning and pee on the paystubs and receipts for some variety from peeing on a pile of absorbent gravel.

This time next month we'll be in the process of moving. It seems I was only just talking about us moving in together in June, it was only four months ago. We'll be leaving our building almost exactly a year after I took up residence in the studio on the ground floor. In that year a lot has changed, things have gone better than I could have hoped, even with the upheaval of having to move again so soon.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Sweater weather! Hooray!

Today I want to get around to calling the manager of our new place to offer to adopt the third kitty he just inherited from a former tenant. Buster the gangly grey purr-pot. He may already be attached to him of course, but it's worth asking/offering.

The only other significant news is that I just narrowly avoided being stuck at work until 7ish, being told to begin a 6-hour treatment at noon...but it hasn't been pre-treated so I get to do it tomorrow morning and leave at a reasonable time. Again: Hooray!